Treva Lindsey


2016-2017: Research on Women and Girls of Color Fellow

Hear Our Screams: A Contemporary History of State and State Sanctioned Violence Against Black Women and Girls

Project Description

Hear Our Screams: A Contemporary History of State and State Sanctioned Violence Against Black Women and Girls

Black women and girls occupied a marginal space in discussions about Black violability. The names of women and girls such as Tarika Wilson, Pearlie Golden, Rekia Boyd, Tanisha Anderson, Aiyana Jones, Renisha McBride, and Yvette Smith remain widely unknown. Their stories, and more specifically, their fatal experiences with White police and security officers and vigilantes disrupt a masculinist framing of anti-Black state violence. Knowing their names and stories compels conversations surrounding anti-Black state violence to wrestle with how gender and sexuality affect how we mobilize and organize for racial justice. Furthermore, using an intersectional approach to addressing Black violability broadens how we think about state and state sanctioned anti-Black violence. A more inclusive approach to anti-Black state violence encompasses the range of violence and violation Black people experience.

We often cite a painful lineage of anti-Black violence against Black men and boys from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin/Jonathan Ferrell/Jordan Davis/Oscar Grant/Ezell Ford/John Crawford/Michael Brown, while forgetting or not fully acknowledging the painful of lineage of anti-Black violence against Black women and girls from Addie Mae Collins/Cynthia Wesley/Carole Robertson/Denise McNair (more commonly identified as the Four Little Girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963) to Latasha Harlins/Rekia Boyd/Renisha McBride/Aiyana Jones/Pearlie Golden/Tarika Wilson/Shereese Francis/Sandra Bland. Putting these two lineages in conversation with one another paints a broader and more accurate picture of Black violability and anti-Black violence. It also allows for more nuanced and useful conversations about the gendered dynamics of racial injustice. This project will offer foundational research and analytical tools for crafting a gender-inclusive framework for understanding and combating contemporary anti-Black state violence.

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